Should Famous People Be Using Kickstarter To Fund Projects? [POLL]
Kickstarter touts itself as a way for people to bring their dreams to life by allowing people to donate money to fund projects created by others that normally wouldn’t have the financial backing to exist. However, some celebrities and media organizations have started using it for projects of their own. Is that fair?
The trend started when the creator of television series ‘Veronica Mars’ Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie based on the series, raising over $5 million as a result. Next, actor Zach Braff launched a campaign for a follow up film to ‘Garden State,’ raising over $3 million. In addition, Gawker Media sought to raise over $200,000 to buy a tape of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. Country music artist Jo Dee Messina is looking to use it to fund a new album as well.
Now, these are surely all noble causes to some people, but is it really fair for people with surely less money than Thomas, Braff, or Gawker to foot the bill, under the premise that they get to be some small part of whatever the outcome is?
Gawker Media is estimated to be worth well over $100 million. They could afford to buy the video they were after five hundred times over. Why did they need their readers to foot the bill instead?
Obviously Braff and Thomas are nowhere near as wealthy, but if actual production companies didn’t want anything to do with the project, is pawning off the cost onto fans the ethical way to go?
On his project page, Braff offered a number of rewards to donors, including spots as an extra, in a walk on role, or in the end credits to name a few. But, the minimum donation to receive one of those awesome perks was $2,500, something that may force a potential donor to struggle financially as a result, not that Braff would help him in that situation.
In fact, I highly doubt that Braff would recognize any of the donors to his project, and if they were to tell him that they had donated, I don’t think he would take you out to dinner or spend the day with you, because why would he? He’s Zach Braff and you’re just some guy who gave him money, regardless of how much you “totally loved him in Scrubs, bro.”
In the end, these people who have already profited off of their fans in the way of TV ratings, merchandise sales, album sales, and through the box office are selling off an artificial sense of closeness to the project and the people behind it, in exchange for free money.